Time Story - A Science Parable

Posted May 23, 2006
Last Updated Jun 21, 2012

Archeologist and bible scholar David Scribner has spent a lifetime digging among the ancient ruins of the Middle East, desiring more than anything else to find hard evidence that the Biblical Jesus was a real historical person, just as the gospels describe him. He is one of a small group of researchers who believe that archaeological evidence will prove many of the Bible’s stories are based in fact (other scholars have reached the opposite conclusion: that stories like Noah, Job, and even Moses are myths). For 30 years he has conducted digs in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Israel. His most important discovery so far is a pottery shard from Capernaum that mentions John the Baptist, dating from the the time of Herod the Great. During one of his most recent excavations in Egypt, Dr. Scribner discovers the remains of a non-Egyptian chariot in an ancient tomb in the Valley of the Kings on the West bank of the Nile. Although a mummy was once buried with this unusual chariot, the mummy, sarcophagus, grave goods and chariot wheels are all missing. He crates all the pieces found at the site and ships them to the Cairo Museum for examination. There, in a windowless laboratory in the basement of the museum, he uncrates and reassembles the chariot. Like King Tut’s chariot, this vehicle was buried with its owner so that his soul would be able to ride it for eternity.

The first thing he discovers during reconstruction is that there are no attachment sites for wheels on the structure. The intact base of the object is about 10 feet long and 6 feet wide. A small throne where the mummy sat is mounted in the center of a boat-like space. Perhaps it’s a small boat instead of a chariot. After further assembly and restoration of the upper hull section, he discovers the interior of the vehicle is larger, about 8 feet in height enclosing a cab-like space, open at the front. Its outside surface is painted with images of the king in the underworld before Osirus, Isis and Anubis from the Book of the Dead. Where the plaster has chipped, bits of unoxidized metal show through. He mounts a pedestal-like structure in front of the chair which reveals after cleaning - a control panel on its top! This is neither chariot or boat! What is this thing? How, where, and why was it built? He removes and preserves the outer painted surface to reveal that the original structure beneath was entirely composed of metal. When it’s completely assembled and restored, he chuckles to himself: “Oh no, I’ve found a UFO!”

A fantastic find, to be sure, but a complete mystery. Dr. Scribner knows one thing for certain: it must be kept secret until he learns more about it. He knows that if news of this thing leaks out before he has a handle on it, a media feeding frenzy will descend, like flies on a turd, upon him and the Cairo museum where this “spaceship” is housed, turning his research into a three-ring circus. Self proclaimed UFO experts and lunatics of all stripes will demand access to it, and they will endlessly speculate on TV and in books about what it is and where it came from. Real scientists will run from this thing as they run from “crypto-zoologists” who claim they have proof of the Loch Ness monster. Dr. Scribner must have some testable, if preliminary, scientific insights as to what he has before going public, if he wishes to maintain any control at all, but how shall he describe it? The more he looks at it and learns about it, the more fantastic it becomes.

This metal craft could not have been manufactured by the ancient Egyptians, although a hieroglyphic inscription was carved into the front of the pedestal during ancient times. It told the story of a god-king whose name was “Ankh-en-Keper”. According to the legend, this king suddenly and magically appeared in this vehicle out of nowhere, “like the beetle that sprouts forth from nothing inside the sealed grain jar”. Because the people worshipped him as divine, he became a king of upper Egypt, but ruled for only a few months. The Middle Kingdom was a time of great upheaval and strife during which weak kings were toppled in quick succession. Ankh-en-Keper was one of those unfortunate kings. After he was likely assassinated, his mummy was placed inside this vehicle, seated upright on the chair, and buried in the tomb that Dr. Scribner discovered, and his soul or Ka, dedicated to the beetle-god Khepera, “the hidden sun of midnight” was sent eternally to “see daily the beautiful Osirus”.

It made perfect sense that the Egyptians, in keeping with their traditions, should bury Ankh-en-Keper with his vehicle - but his origin, tied to the origin of his ship, remains an enigma. The vehicle seems to be constructed of a lightweight aluminum, yet the pottery associated with it comes from the late Bronze Age. At this early date, small amounts of iron were being forged, but no Bronze age furnace could produce pieces of metal anywhere near this size. It’s a complete anachronism. Because nothing about the ship fits with the ancient Egyptian artifacts found with it, David Scribner begins to hypothesize that his discovery might actually be a time machine, and its royal occupant, a time traveler from the future. But a theory needs to be tested. He decides to do analysis of metal shavings he files from the aluminum chassis and sends some organic remains found on the floor of the craft to an outside lab for radio metric dating tests. Although the mummy is long gone (probably destroyed by thieves looting grave goods), traces of food offerings are found inside the craft. Another important part of the puzzle is found: one of Dr. Scribner’s assistants, still back at the tomb site discovers, in an associated antechamber, a desiccated but intact liver in a sealed canopic jar belonging to the occupant. (During the mummification process, the Egyptians removed organs (like livers) that decayed quickly but did not discard them. Soft organs were stored with the deceased because they believed the soul needed them.) The liver is sent to a different independent lab for tests.

When the results of the tests come back, the food offerings are carbon dated back to 2100 BCE, which is about the right date for the grave goods. The liver, removed from the canopic jar could not be dated, but some bits of partial mitochondrial DNA taken from it indicate that its owner was of mixed European and American Indian ancestry. This is unusual and inconsistent with known history, as Europeans had no contact with native Americans 4000 years ago. The DNA hints that the tomb’s occupant may be of more recent origin. The tests of the metal filings from the vehicle’s chassis reveal that the craft is composed of a lighter than aluminum alloy quite unlike any metal yet developed. It’s “out of this world”. This leads to three conclusions: all of them fantastic. 1.) The craft was made by some technologically advanced ancient civilization lost to history...Atlantis perhaps? 2.) The craft is of extraterrestrial origin, perhaps invented and abandoned on Earth by some space-faring civilization. 3.) The craft was shipwrecked in ancient times by a time traveling visitor from our own future. After serious consideration of each possibility, Dr. Scribner concludes that the third conclusion is most probable because the DNA from Ankh-en-Keper’s liver, the person buried with the craft, indicates that he is more like a modern American than an alien or an ancient human. So, it looks like our archaeological detective has uncovered a time traveler from the future who went back in time to masquerade as an ancient Egyptian king. He laughs to himself again: “It’s not the aliens this time, it’s Jules Verne!”

A month later, after he releases the initial paper on his findings, his colleagues are the ones laughing. Even though he becomes an overnight cult hero in the press, his peers ridicule his research. His conclusions are impossible. He should recheck his data. They tell him that he should stick to archaeology and stop watching the Sci Fi channel. “Beam us back in time, Scottie!”, they howl. He resolves that the best way to definitively prove the device he discovered in the Egyptian desert is a time machine is to make it work. A demonstration of time travel submitted for peer review right before their eyes will silence the laughter. But, needless to say, this is easier said than done. The vehicle comes with no instruction manual. What if vital parts of the craft are are missing or broken? It doesn’t appear that anything is missing: it looks as if the vehicle has survived the 40 centuries completely intact. If any part were missing, however, the craft would not fly, because he would not know how to replicate missing pieces. He begins by disassembling, examining and testing every part of the vehicle, describing and theorizing upon the function of each. After considerable documentation, he cleans and reassembles the craft.

The task consumes the doctor for the next 2 years. Experts in rocket science and other fields refuse to help him. He has to order books on many scientific disciplines and become his own expert. He runs out of research grant money and attempts to solicit backing from private sources. After being turned down he is forced to finance the research with his own money. Nearing bankruptcy, a general working theory of the craft’s operation begins to emerge. A series of internal turbines within the walls of the craft generate millions of atmospheres of gravitational force just outside the perimeter of the ship. Space-time is warped and folded inside by a kind of energy new to science. When electrical energy is applied to power cells at the rear of the vehicle, hundreds of little turbines within the shell of the craft begin spinning. The inner space of the craft is altered as the turbines in the hull spin faster and faster. The molecules inside the ship start to behave as if they are traveling very fast, even though the vehicle remains motionless. Warps in local space-time begin to occur when the turbines energize the interior contents to a motionless version of approximately 66% of the speed of light. Theoretically, these conditions produce a small, localized, forth dimension worm hole in the space-time continuum that the ship slips into. Nice! One major problem: the ancient Egyptians damaged the control panel when they carved their hieroglyphic inscription into the front of it. The craft will travel but will it go to the time set by the date on the control panel? Will he be able to navigate? Only testing it out himself will tell.

Dr. Scribner’s major breakthrough occurred when he applied a low voltage electrical shock to the turbines main fuel cell line. To his horror the craft vanished into thin air, only to reappear about an hour later in the same spot. The craft jumped slightly ahead in time. After a few more jumps backward and forward in time with a guinea pig inside the craft, he tests the device out thoroughly before attempting time travel himself. (Jumping ahead in time seems to do no damage, because what’s in the future hasn’t happened yet. But when he sends the guinea pig an hour back in time, it produces his first time anomaly: two of the same guinea pig share the hour simultaneously. He places them together in the same cage. He accidentally puts the duplicated individual back in the time machine and winds up with three in the cage. He realizes he must quickly destroy and cremate all three. Failing to do so could produce an unlimited number of clones. When all are gone, a lone living guinea pig appears back in the cage. He can leave this original animal alive because the time line has now been restored. He was lucky. Time loops like this can multiply exponentially. Fooling with time is dangerous!

To conclude his experiments, he now needs to take a long leap back in time in order to demonstrate how Ankh-en-keper (or whatever his real name was) traveled from his time to Ancient Egypt. Should he go back to the land of the pharaohs and confront the future boy who would be king? No. Catching the original “time bandit” would not be necessary to prove that his time machine works, and for months now, David Scribner has been dreaming of visiting someone else - someone of great personal importance. In keeping with his lifelong passion to discover Jesus, he sets the date on the control panel to 29 AD - the year most likely to be Jesus’ last on earth. He says to himself: “Think of being in Palestine during the time of Jesus and seeing the king of kings face to face! To bear witness to the crucifixion, perhaps even to touch the holy grail cup - what more moving experience could there be! To actually experience these things in person, this archaeologist would feel like a child on Christmas Morning, opening his eyes to see a mountain of colorful toys! What on earth could be more exciting than actually meeting God?”

Filled with anticipation, he enters the craft with a duffel bag stuffed with clothing and equipment, sits down, rechecks the date on the control panel, revs up the turbines, and presses what he believes is the deep time “start” button. Nothing happens. He pushes a lever on the pedestal down and presses “start” again. Nothing still. He resets the lever and then starts pressing all four buttons on the control panel in varying sequences. The machine emits a a roaring jet engine whistle while standing perfectly still. Time folds, his physical body disappears, and his mind loses partial consciousness while he spends an unknown number of moments between dimensions. He is traveling back in time.

The engine whine stops. He peers out to view a scene long before civilization. A group of shovel-tusked elephants are sharing a watering hole with bison and other extinct animals. A band of hunters, Homo erectus (or Homo ergaster, the African version) had been stealthily approaching the animals until Dr. Scribner and his time machine appeared out of nowhere. All the frightened creatures run away screaming. He immediately recognizes that he has arrived at the wrong time: this is Africa during the Pleistocene Epoch. Dr. Scribner doesn’t wait around, he’s too anxious to find Jesus. He resets the date and the lever, presses the last sequence of buttons that he hit before, and the time machine roars and disappears again.

When he reappears, he’s finds himself in the desert under a night sky. He gets out of the vehicle and climbs a small hill. Getting his bearings, he estimates that he has landed about half a mile from the west bank of the Nile river. It doesn’t take him long to find out the approximate date of his arrival. Not far away he spies a small stellae that he can read which describes, in hieroglyphic, Coptic, and Greek, the recent defeat of Cleopatra by the Romans. This time he is at least close to the right date.

Having no use for being worshipped by the locals as a sun god, he quickly buries the time machine in the desert sand to keep his means of return to the present a secret. He changes into the robes and sandals that he brought with him. He carries with him shekels that he found at digs and gold pieces to buy things he might need, and he conceals a mini camera and other modern equipment to record the adventure in his garments. Looking like a citizen of that time, he pays a merchant for passage on a caravan. He travels north with them from Roman occupied Egypt to Judea by camel. The week long journey is more strenuous than even a seasoned archaeologist is used to, but as it turns out, it’s well worth it.

Near Bethany, on the road to Jerusalem, he sees a large crowd listening to a man preaching from a hillside. Many of them have come a long way, from the Galilee to the north. He recognizes their regional garments. Who else could the speaker be? It must be Jesus. He sits down a ways off and listens with them, recording what turns out to include the beatitudes from Matthew’s account of the “sermon on the mount” with a small concealed camcorder he brought with him. It turns out that Matthew’s version of the event is quite accurate, except that Jesus continues with a parable omitted in Matthew that bares a striking similarity to a few lines found only in the so called “Gospel of Thomas”. De Scribner finds such details absolutely fascinating! Most of the people listen to Jesus in spellbound silence, but a few hecklers at the edge of the crowd, dressed in the garments of high priests, hassle Jesus with pointed questions in “high” Hebrew, not in the Aramaic the common people speak. Having studied the languages of this time and place, Dr. Scribner is fluent in Latin, Hebrew and Aramaic, and understands almost everything that is said. He notes that some of the inflections in the Aramaic spoken by Jesus are quite different than what today’s scholars had assumed them to be. He is delighted as he records over three hours of what he sees and hears - documenting the discovery of a lifetime - of many lifetimes!

Although he has now documented Christ’s existence by recording him, the Doctor needs more. He desires to bring back proof that Jesus is God. He reasons, if Jesus is the alpha and the omega, that he is one with the omnipresent, omnipotent God of creation, he would know everything about everything. Jesus would know the future and understand English, a language that did not come into being until long after biblical times. So he devises a quick and easy test: he could simply introduce himself to Jesus in English while his video camera is running. If Jesus understands a language unknown to his time, then the doctor will come away with documentary proof that at least Jesus possesses Godlike knowledge!

So he follows Jesus after the crowd dissipates. With evening approaching, Dr. David Scribner, with his concealed camcorder on, catches up with Jesus as he is walking with his apostles the short distance back to Bethany, and introduces himself in English, telling Jesus that he is a time traveler from the future. Just as he starts talking to Jesus, a silent alarm of panic rings somewhere in his subconscious, hinting that what he is doing may be a mistake.

The disciples within earshot of the doctor give him a startled look. Jesus answers him back in Aramaic, “I don’t understand you - can you speak in our common tongue?” For a long embarrassing pause, the doctor looks down, away from Jesus eyes, and cannot speak. Shaken by Jesus’ unexpected ignorance, he finally overcomes his shock and starts slowly in Aramaic, ”Are you not Yeshua ha Nazareet, (Jesus of Nazareth) the one they call the Messiah?” Jesus answers: “I am Jesus, and who are you that calls me the Messiah?”

The archaeologist answers Jesus in Aramaic: “Lord, my name is David Scribner. I am a man of the future who has traveled 2000 years back in time to meet you. The language that I spoke to you a moment ago is a future language. So many from my time would love to see you as I do. I come from a time when your churches are established among all the nations of the Earth; not one, but several churches, based upon differing interpretations of your teaching. We who follow you are called “Christians”, and we are a new religion, because your own people, the 12 tribes of Israel, do not follow you. Also, in my time, the descendants of Ishmael no longer worship idols. Following a prophet who comes after you named Muhammad, they pray to the one true God but not to you.” “Do you have any foreknowledge of these future events?”, pries the doctor, in the hopes that Jesus will now reveal a little of his infinite knowledge in front of the camera, so that David can triumphantly return to his century and stick it in the faces of all those faithless skeptics back home.

The apostles who hear what the doctor has to say react with dismay. They are used to hearing Jesus speak of the future, but the future this lunatic has just described contradicts everything their Messiah has promised them. Isn’t the heavenly kingdom supposed to be at hand, that is, really immanent? Instead of a heavenly Jerusalem right around the corner, they hear that there will be at least 2000 more years of fractious religions and no peaceable kingdom.

Jesus reacts somewhat angrily. He asks the doctor: “Who reveals this future to you? You talk with authority, but you do not speak the truth. Men are not allowed to travel through time. Your lunacy frightens my followers. My heavenly father has sent the prophets to Israel, to the chosen of God, so that they may be saved from their sins. The son of man is come to fulfill their words, not to bring a new religion to the Gentiles. Yes, the kingdom of God is for all, both Jew and Gentile, but the Jews shall see it first.” Jesus continues in a calm voice: “My words trouble you greatly. Peace be with you. If you wish to follow me, stay with us. The son of man is about to be delivered into the hands of his enemies. Soon the temple shall be destroyed, but in three days I shall raise it up. Come to Jerusalem with us and see.”

The archaeologist does not stay, but departs from Jesus with his faith completely shaken. This is the Jesus of scripture, but where is his divine knowledge? This ignorant Jesus who spoke so harshly to a believer can’t be God the Creator, who knows all things. The doctor declines Jesus’ invitation to his bloody end. He no longer wants any part of it, because if Jesus isn’t God, but just some guy deluded by his own beliefs, then his senseless slaughter is just a tragic waste, not the glorious sacrifice that God is supposed to make for the good of mankind as claimed. No grail cup from the Last Supper sanctified with sacramental power, no “Bread of Life” to take away the sin of the world will come of it, only a bunch of drunken cowards who do nothing to stop their innocent leader’s execution come away from that fateful table to tell their tall tale.

David is more distraught and depressed than at any other moment in his life. He goes and gets drunk in a Bethany brothel. “How come Jesus can’t tell the future?” he cries. “How can God not know?” “He’s good at predicting his own death but he can’t see beyond it. Predicting the crucifixion isn’t clairvoyance, it’s a self fulfilling prophecy that he makes come true on purpose. Everybody knows the story. He provokes the Hebrew and Roman establishment by stirring up the multitudes. He attract attention to himself on Passover by entering Jerusalem through the main gate with a great crowd and much fanfare. Right in front of the high priests, he openly defies their authority by violently driving the money changers out of the temple with a whip. Imagine the complaints of the thousands of pilgrims who, after a long journey, couldn’t pay the priests for their Passover sacrifice! Then, after this huge insult, Jesus hangs out in Jerusalem overnight, feasting and drinking with his buddies, right under the noses of those that he just outraged. With no army, not even a bodyguard to protect him, Jesus might as well have worn a sign on his back that read ‘Crucify me!’ I used to believe that he was God. Now I find out that he’s no more ‘God’ than the rest of us. He’s a man with good ideas, a hero willing to die for his beliefs, but also a fanatic with a death wish, and I can’t watch the man get brutalized like that for nothing.” Then he passes out from all the wine he drank.

Awaking with a wicked hangover, David begins to worry about the impact his documentary about Jesus will have on all the people who believe in God when he returns to the 21st Century. Jesus’ documented lack of clairvoyance will challenge and even destroy people’s faith in God when they see it. Maybe he should not try to return. Filled with sadness, he considers that maybe it’s better for him to stay in the past so that his knowledge dies with him, rather than return with such destructive news to the 21st Century. After a dark day of despairing thoughts, he figures a way out. He doesn’t need to show anyone an ignorant Jesus. For the good of humanity, he’ll destroy the tape. David must think of science. Time travel is too important a discovery to keep to himself. He can perform other time experiments and leave the subject of Jesus alone. He’ll go back home and travel to another, less controversial time.

He returns by caravan route to Egypt where his time machine is buried. Meanwhile, the week of Passover arrives in Jerusalem accompanied by the fateful events of scripture, and Jesus goes to his crucifixion. David is back in his machine ready to return on an early Sunday morning. He sets the date for 2029 and presses the buttons. During the past week he must have lost track of time or forgotten the importance of the day, because the day that he is ready to return is the third day after Jesus death: Resurrection Sunday. The doctor fires up the turbines and begins to lose consciousness again, as the ship begins transporting him back to his own century.

Suddenly he is transported to another place outside of the time machine - maybe even outside of time! He finds himself floating in the dark. A voice tells him he is in the void beyond the universes. In the dense foam of space-time, little points of light flare up here and there. He is told that they are little universes forming. The most odd thing is that there is no progression in time in this void. There is no difference between a second and a billion years. David sees the beginning, middle, and end of each universe all at once. Most pop like soap bubbles before they get too big. Up ahead we see a successful one. It inflates to the size of a basketball for a moment then explodes out in all directions at “warp speed”. David passes through the event horizon at the boundary of the universe we call home. It is very bright inside. The voice says “Let there be light”. From this edge of the known universe he slows down to sub light speed but he is still traveling very fast in time-space. The light dissipates and galaxies form. As he heads toward a cluster of galaxies and continues slowing down in speed, he recognizes where he is headed: two spiral galaxies of the local group known as Andromeda and Milky Way. He is going home. As he heads toward a familiar star two thirds out on the spiral arm of the second galaxy, he sees a radiant being before him, so bright he has to shield his eyes and his skin begins to sunburn. It’s not a star, it’s the risen Christ. He thinks, “My God, I must be dead!”

Jesus now speaks to him in English: “No - you are not dead - I appear to you out of pity for your despair. I felt your anguished soul crying out to me. I have come to restore your faith - the faith that you lost trying to record a miracle. You ran away when you did not hear what you wanted to hear. You had the chance to bear witness as I sacrificed myself for you and for all mankind, but you shut your eyes and ran away. Now hear this: I am who you believe me to be, even though I did not know English or future events. You have so little faith! When I became one of you, I had to reduce my limitless knowledge. Just now, I have given you the tiniest glimpse of all creation, so that you may better understand why the experience of its vastness would not fit into a man’s brain. It would be like pouring a mountain into a teacup. After I was born in a human body, some links with that part of me which is God were cut off. This is why I spoke of God as my father. For that short earthly time, I truly became one of you. Now that I have risen from the dead, I appear to you in the form of my body, but this new body that you see is a non corporeal one, composed of light, not matter. After my resurrection, I have become one again with my infinite father.”

David, when you spoke to me in English, I did not understand because, from my point of view, there was to be no such language. When I was born into that child in the manger, I was limited to the memory of the past, present and the future that existed before your arrival. When you disrupted time in 29 AD, you created a new future, the one that you know, not the one that I knew. When you spoke of the splintering of religions, I thought that you were a lunatic talking nonsense, because I didn’t foresee that future, but saw a different future history. You changed history by speaking those things in front of my apostles. In what was to happen before you arrived, James establishes the Judeo-Christian Church at Jerusalem. He is spared when the Romans sack the temple in 70 AD. The Jewish nation recognizes me as the Messiah. James unifies my temple with Paul’s Gentile churches at Pergamum and Antioch. Rome accepts Paul’s version of Christianity much earlier: in 120 AD and makes peace with the Germanic barbarians. There’s more: A powerful branch of the Holy Roman Empire arises in the British Isles during the Middle Ages. The Emperor of London repels the German Saxon invasion. The English tongue never evolves because the Saxons never conquer the Angles. From Shakespeare to the Beatles, the people of Britain speak “Gaelin”, a kind of Gaelic version of Latin. America is called Columbia, and its people speak Spanish. See how much you changed with a few words? Ripples in time spread out, changing more and more history as time goes on. The time line that you created increased strife among the nations, and I had hoped for a better world sooner, but what is done is done. So be it. I forgive you, because you did not know what you were doing.

Now that I am fully restored to total memory, I know your history. I recall a couple hundred thousand alternative time lines as well, and only about a third of them record the rift between Jews and Christians after my coming. Even less predict the evolution of English as a major language, but 70% see the rise of Islam. It’s a lot for even me to keep track of. The number of alternate time lines increased dramatically after men discovered time travel in 2784 AD. Time travel is the most dangerous technology that mankind, or any evolved beings, will ever discover. No other being on any planet in your sector of galaxies knows how to fold time-space, (in fact, most cant even conceptualize it). Not long after the discovery, many humans went out and constantly reshuffled time at will. As they did, the anomalies of uncertainty multiplied to the point that almost no history within a hundred light year radius became certain. Whole generations were disappearing because they were never born, other families multiplied like overpopulated lemmings. Cities, continents, even stars were altered from their natural courses. Strict laws were established in 2789 to limit time disruption and the time line was restored to its “basic outline”. The most fundamental commandment of time-law is: Observation only, no interaction is ever allowed.

I also recognize the vehicle your riding in. It’s Andy Chipper’s machine that you dug up, a model 309 built in 2785, four years before time-law was established. It was his body that the Egyptians mummified. Andy was a little crazy and traveled time a lot. One day he just never came back. Fearing that something like this might happen, the authorities of the 28th and 29th Centuries searched hard to recover it. That’s when the time-laws were rigorously enforced. Because they couldn’t find it, they had assumed it was somewhere off-planet. It was the only machine ever lost in time. Unfortunately, you found it - and used it.

Now, everything is about to change again. David, when you return you will change time. The date I have assigned to the discovery of time travel is current, but the minute you go back, time travel will be discovered in 2029, not 2784. You have an awesome responsibility. Most of your generation are not ready. Many of your 21st Century contemporaries are filled with greed and selfishness, and would use time travel for personal gain. I’m greatly troubled. Much uncertainty, I fear, is about to visit your world. Before you travel in time again, please, try not to alter history in any way. When you go back, just take a look. Don’t touch anything and don’t talk to anyone. Most of all, don’t let the time machine fall into the hands of people who might be tempted to break the laws of time travel. Please heed my warning, it is for the good of all.

“David, I know your heart. You traveled through time to see me, to help you better believe in me, not for fame and glory. You came in search of the Truth. I know you didn’t mean to disrupt time and bring such havoc into the world. The answers you are looking for, David, are not found in time travel, or even archaeology. I am what you seek. You see, David, real faith in my power does not ask me to perform miracles, it knows that I can without asking for proof. It was an error for you to seek to record physical proof of the miraculous. Certain things - some of the must important things - are not knowable through science. By definition, you cannot explain a miracle, because an explained thing is not a miracle. You see me and can touch me, but you cannot record my risen body (it is so bright that your camcorder would only record a blinding light). The logical would say that if I cannot be recorded, than your experience is a dream or hallucination, but you know I am truly here before you. Science has its place; science is not wrong, but its means of gathering information has limits. Kepler, Newton, Einstein, Planck: these men discovered real laws that govern the physical universe that I created. But that’s not all there is. Even some aspects of physics are impenetrable to the mind of man, so dissecting the supernatural is even more futile!

“Open your hearts! Yes, your hearts beat to pump blood, but they also ache for love and burn with yearning for the intangible! Why is it easier for your brains to comprehend mathematics than to see why selfless love triumphs over self interest? Are your genes really selfish? Do only the fit survive? I was crucified without descendants, a loser according to evolution, yet the people of Earth depend on me for their spiritual survival, and you are all my children. Darwin correctly described the genesis of your bodies, but you are more than your bodies! Truth is more than just facts, Love is more than sexual desire and Faith is more than a vague belief or hope, it’s an unshakable conviction that something illogical is stronger than reason. Love is a priori - it comes before logic!”

“There is so much of scripture that I could correct, but I can only give you tidbits. Do not believe that only those who say the name “Jesus” are saved, because I have been known by many names. I tell you, many are here today with me in paradise who call me Adonai, Allah, Krishna or even Tao. I save even those who do not believe in me - if they do good to others, they do good to me. Atheists are simply mistaken, not evil. Light is always light, no matter what the source is. It does not matter if you follow this star or that star, if you follow the light, you follow me. The good are mine and the evil reap their reward, no matter what church they go to. Each of you have a divine spark, a soul that animates your being. It’s not found in your cells. But just as the atoms that form your bodies were forged in the furnaces of stars and your molecules cooled in the clouds of space, that which sparks the thoughts of your mind comes from an invisible Holy Spirit. Your essence does not die when your brain dies. You are mine.”

You don’t know how special you are to me. I have intervened many times to stop the laws of chaos and chance from snuffing out life on your little world (even though your science cannot detect it). Before I became one of you, I did not fully appreciate what you go through. How Truth hides from you for days on end, like the sun behind the clouds, and that you can only catch glimpses of what I see all the time. Or how you hurt each other instinctively, mindlessly without realizing it. It was much easier for me to become wrathful and condemn your behavior, like in the days of Noah, before I personally tasted of temptation and confusion. I an glad I descended into the flesh. Becoming human, God is better able to appreciate how hard it's for you - driven from appetite to appetite. Pain, desire, fear, greed, gluttony, anger, despair - all these things cloud the will with confusion. Tempted by these appetites, and tasting of the forgetfulness that accompanies eating and sleeping and walking and breathing gives me great compassion for your trials and sufferings. Know that I love you. There are many beings and many forms of life throughout the Universe, but I have a special fondness for you. You are my special children, your hopes and prayers matter to me. To me, the cry of a single small child dying of hunger explodes in my ears more powerfully than the greatest supernova, and the sins of the selfish oppress me with greater gravity than the black holes at the centers of galaxies.”

“John of Patmos foretold of my second coming. His vision relates the end and transformation of humanity - not the end of the universe. Of the events of Revelation I will not speak. Only this: some of what he saw came from me, other things were dreams of his own hopes and desires. The persecutions of his times incurred great wrath within him that became intertwined with his faith. I understand his anger, I also felt rage when I was human. The scribes and pharisees inflamed my wrath many times with their treachery. But I triumphed over the temptation to retaliate. By my example I taught humanity how to overcome the unforgiving bitterness that anger festers - yet it still pops up - even in holy scripture.”

“The timeless infinity that you imagine doesn’t exist. Time does end. There is a beginning and end to your universe of linear measure. But the Heavenly Paradise is not of your world. When you die, you will stand with me, outside of time. In the heavenly kingdom, we see the beginning, the middle and the end happening together all the time. The non corporeal is a non linear existence. While living, my kingdom will always remain beyond your understanding. You might try to think of time-space as a circular system instead of a time line, but to God the universe is a globe of the fourth physical dimension, with every quark and anti quark of matter, dark matter, and particle of extra-universal foam looping back from existence to re-existence, quicker than the electron cloud orbits each atomic nucleus. It’s not supposed to make sense, your minds are not equipped to understand it! Just know that I am constantly aware of every particle in the universe - but I’m more interested in your prayers. Like a galactic sized computer, the mind of God retains the memory of every being on every planet from every era for all time.”

“These are riddles and mysteries for you. I could not begin to explain these things to my apostles. I spoke to them of Adam, not atoms, because people of that time didn’t even know that the world was a globe, or what the sun was composed of, but I spoke to them things of far greater importance. I taught them to love one another. I spoke to them in parables, moral stories that fit their experiences, and yet they still were puzzled. And now I give you new puzzles! May the Mystery of Faith be ever fresh!”

“Your faith is restored to you. Go and tell of what you have seen and heard. Happy are those who believe without seeing. Of course, without proof your scientific colleagues will laugh at you. Do not fear to tell the world about me, but do fear the misuse of time travel. It is more dangerous than a hydrogen bomb if misused. Peace be with you! You shall not see me again, David, until we meet in Paradise, but I will be with you always.”

The archeologist awakes from his vision. He is still seated in the time machine but now he finds himself back in the basement of the Cairo museum in the 21st Century. For a long while, he cannot move or speak. He feels irradiated, as if he just had a conversation with an atomic bomb, and his hair has turned pure white. At this point he is no longer impressed by time travel, space travel, or even archaeology. He has been touched by God. He doesn’t care that he was trained as a man of science - because he has just experienced a vision so powerful (and so irrational) that it could rival the famous Revelation of John of Patmos. He’s bursting with joy. He wants to tell the world the good news: Jesus is the LIVING God! But how can he publish his vision; his “out of body” experience with God himself? Not in Science. Not even in Ripley’s or Mad Magazine. Maybe he should seek audience with the Pope, or Billy Graham, or the Dalai Lama! Maybe he should give up archaeology and become a priest. His mind races with one exciting idea after another. For some bizarre reason his mind envisions Aleister Sim in the 1950 version of the “Christmas Carol”, when he wakes up alive after spending a night with spirits. “I’m as giddy as a schoolboy!” he exclaims.

Suddenly something pulls him back down to earth. What is he going to do about this damn time machine? God warned him of the terrible danger it poses to all humanity. Should he publish his findings? Document the 2 years worth of voluminous data that led him to the discovery of time travel? He starts thinking “Time travel is too dangerous for my century but, like nuclear energy, it is a valuable tool for science. I know, because God told me, that time travel will ultimately be discovered seven centuries from now, so a more advanced humanity will eventually benefit from its discovery. After all, scientists invented the technology in 2784, when they built the time machine. I merely figured out how to operate it. For me to take credit for it would be like finding a car, learning how to drive it, and then claiming that I invented the automobile. In good conscience, I cannot do that. I’m going to take this machine back to where it belongs.

Someone is coming down the stairs into the basement of the Cairo Museum where the time ship sits with the doctor inside, lost in reverie as he slumps over the control panel. They are yelling and cheering. If he’s going to get away from them, he has to hurry. He fires up the turbines, sets the date to 2790 and presses the right sequence of four buttons on the control panel. He mutters to himself; “I’m getting pretty good at this”.

He loses consciousness again shortly - then finds himself at a station called “Time Central Command”. Scientists speaking in Spanish approach him. He’s not in Cairo anymore. His ship was intercepted and relocated to Houston, home to the fleet of time ships. Other time ships are garaged there. A large digital screen displays the date: 2790. These future folk expect him to be Mr. Chipper, back from his joyride. They are surprised to see Dr. Scribner instead. They test him and know immediately that he is from the past, about 700 years.

“Why have you traveled to the future and where is Andy Chipper?” they ask. He explains his entire adventure to them. They listen. They show him nothing of the future. In about an hour, they verify his story, quickly return him to his time in a newer silent ship and depart without disturbing the tiniest insect. NO MORE TIME ANOMALIES. That’s the law. (Thank God.)

He files his unpublished paper on time travel in a storage room with hundreds of other papers, returns to his archaeological digs, and puts the events of the past few weeks (or are they thousands of years?) behind him. It doesn’t matter: his smile is stuck, nothing perturbs him, he’s a permanently happy man. Someday, he’ll write all about his amazing transfiguration and the glowing Jesus who spoke to him while they floated together in space. But that can wait. With Jesus in his heart, to his last day on earth, and for all eternity, he’ll be “as giddy as a schoolboy”.


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